July 2016

New Sites for the Common Corn Cockle (Agrostemma githago)

Allon Singer, Gene Bank, Agricultural Research Administration singer@volcani.agri.gov.il
Ohad Binyamini, botany lover ohadbi78@gmail.com
Tomer Faraj, Gene Bank, Agricultural Research Administration tomerf@volcani.agri.gov.il
Ofra Friedmann, collector of seeds for conservation for the Gene bank ofra.friedmann@gmail.com
Daniella Cafri, Plant Protection and Inspection Services, Ministry of Agriculture daniellac@moag.gov.il
Dikla Lifshitz, Gene Bank, Agricultural Research Administration dikla@volcani.agri.gov.il
Sivan Golan, Gene Bank, Agricultural Research Administration sivan@volcani.agri.gov.il
Dana Bar,  Gene Bank, Agricultural Research Administration danab@volcani.agri.gov.il
Einav Mayzlish Gati, Gene Bank, Agricultural Research Administration einavm@volcani.agri.gov.il
Ori Fragman-Sapir,  The Jerusalem University Botanical Gardens. ofragman@013.net

Keywords: Agrostemma brachyloba, Agrostemma githago, Mt. Avital, endangered species, Caryophyllaceae, field plants, distribution in Israel

In recent decades the Common Corn Cockle has been found on Mt. Avital in the Golan Heights only. Recently it has also been observed in agricultural lands near Ofra in Samaria, and in fields near the Shoket Crossroads in the northern Negev. In the article we discuss the spreading of the species as a field plant in traditional agriculture, the diminution of its populations due to the transition to modern agriculture, and why, in our opinion, the appearance of the plants in new sites is the result of agricultural pollution. These findings strengthen the importance of conserving the species in its natural habitat as well as in botanical and ornamental gardens.

Full Hebrew version

The  conservation of wild flora in areas of planted Eucalyptus woods, and a site of landscape restoration east of Sitrya

Gadi Pollak, Kalanit editorial, gadpollak@gmail.com
Sima Kagan, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, simak@volcani.agri.gov.il

Keywords:  Lavandula stoechas,  loam, Na'an wood, southern coastal plain, wild plants, sand-dune plants,  endangered plants, protected plants, invasive plants, open spaces, Acacia saligna, understorey

Plots of forests planted with Eucalyptus trees on brown clay-like soil and on red loam, and an area of sandy loam that underwent  landscape restoration east of Moshav Sitrya in the southern coastal plain, maintain a rich and varied wild flora, despite a history of intensive human intervention, and various sorts of  disruptions. The conservation of wild flora in the location requires monitoring and constant constraint of the invasion of the Blue-leafed Wattle  (Acacia saligna), as well as the maintenance of the area with an interface that will ensure the sustainability of the wild flora over time in the Eucalyptus forest, and the areas in which the Roman Pine (Pinus pinea) and the Mount Tabor Oak (Quercus ithaburensis) were planted.

Full Hebrew version


The genus Ambrosia in Israel (including a key for the species)

Hagar Leschner Collection Manager – the Herbarium, the National Natural History Collection at the Hebrew University. hagarv@savion.huji.ac.il

In the genus Ambrosia there are around fifty species of which six are known in Israel.  The Sea Ambrosia (Ambrosia maritima) grows wild, and is defined as an endangered species in Israel. In recent decades four (or five) alien species, of North African origin have been documented in Israel. These species are invasive, gain control over damp habitats, and constitute a real danger to the natural vegetation in these habitats. An additional danger faces public health from the allergenic pollen grains.  The article describes the genus and offers a key for the species that grow in Israel.

Full Hebrew version

About the Book "Plant Ecology in the Middle East"

Gadi Pollak, Kalanit editorial, gadpollak@gmail.com

A new book on plant ecology in the Middle East by Ahmad Hegazy and Jonathan Lovett-Doust, was recently published. by Oxford University Press. (2016, 339 pp). The book presents an up-to-date  picture of plant ecology in the region, with emphasis on deserts. The topics are discussed within a broad context of geological, climatic and evolutionary processes, which shaped the characteristics of the vegetation and flora in the Middle East, while relating to the part that man plays in the utilization of the ecological systems of the region, and his influence upon them in the past and in present.  In the review the connection to the flora of Israel  is emphasized.

Full Hebrew version

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